On The Bench 285: Tom Hering’s Weirdo’s Daddy part 1

It’s 2016, and the Hawk Model Company’s line of Weird-Ohs kits is now 53 years old. Yet the kits seem as fresh to me as they did when they first came out in 1963, when I was 9 years old. And they continue to be my all-time favorite model kits. The only real problem with these kits, as Weird-Ohs fans have always recognized, is that the sculpts don’t match creator Bill Campbell’s concept art and box art. (We now know that the whole line of kits was rushed into production, and that the sculpts and Campbell’s art were pretty much made independently of each other.) So, this is the second project where my goal is to make a Weird-Ohs kit more closely resemble Bill Campbell’s vision. My method, once again, will be to modify and correct the kit’s parts. (My first Weird-Ohs project, Huey’s Hut Rod, is archived both here at Fantastic Modeling and at CarModelsUSA.)

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“Figure 1” shows the kit’s original head and body. “Figure 2” shows my modification of the head and body, without fangs or hair yet, but with new hat, glasses, lapels, and bow tie. “Figure 3” shows Daddy as he appears in Bill Campbell’s box art.

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“Figure 4” shows how the hole on top of Daddy’s head (where the hat provided in the kit is mounted) was closed with sheet styrene. The top of the head was built up at a steep angle with epoxy putty to create a higher forehead (to accommodate much bigger eyes) and to provide a flat base for an entirely new hat. The bulge representing hair on the back of the head was sanded down as much as possible, after being backed up from the inside with epoxy putty. “Figure 5” shows how new eyes were outlined with vinyl cord, and the surrounding facial areas built up with epoxy putty. The original nose was cut off, the resulting hole filled with epoxy putty, and a new nose fashioned from a piece of carved ABS and more epoxy putty. “Figure 6” shows how the chin was cut off, the resulting hole filled with epoxy putty, and the lower lip extended with sheet styrene and styrene half-round. Sheet styrene was fitted into both the top and bottom of the mouth as support for new fangs. Green putty was used everywhere on the head and body for detailed filling and blending. Sheet styrene was used to create a more defined collar and lapels.

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“Figure 7” shows the completely new fedora that replaces the kit’s sideways-fitting hat. Sheet styrene, epoxy putty, and green putty were used to make it. “Figure 8” shows how Daddy’s frames were modified with sheet styrene. I thought they looked a little too Sophia Loren, and I wanted them to look more Barry Goldwater.

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“Figure 9” shows buttons sliced from sprue added to both sleeves. “Figure 10” shows a new bowtie carved from 1/8” ABS sheet in front of the kit bowtie. “Figure 11” shows how a triangular piece of sheet styrene was inserted between the halves of the briefcase, inside both ends. A bottom strip was also added. The ends and the bottom were then blended into the briefcase halves with epoxy putty.

 

Completed Daddy figure modification, looking ready for the early 1960s rat race! The bottom edge of Daddy’s body was cut off at an angle, so Daddy sits more upright in his coffin car, instead of hunched forward. This resulted in the bottom of the body being too wide to fit between the edges of the coffin lid. So I Dremeled and sanded down the sides of the body, under the arms, after using epoxy putty to back up the sides.

“Part 2” will cover the modifications to Daddy’s coffin car.

Tom Hering

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